By SELENE SAN FELICE
The University of Tampa is furthering its partnership with the University of Oxford. Since 1997 the Honors Program has sent three students to the U.K. through the Oxford Study Abroad Programme (OSAP) each semester, giving UT students the opportunity to become involved at one of the best universities in the world. Senior Atakan Keskin, one of UT’s chosen honors students for Spring 2016, has merged the Adam Smith Society, the College of Business honor society at UT, with the Oxford Economics Society (OES).
The partnership became official on March 16, granting special privileges and connections to future UT Honors students at Oxford. Through OSAP, Each UT student at Oxford will receive free membership to OES The OES will be able to assist any UT student in the Adam Smith Society with their application to graduate school at Oxford or their partner institutions, University College London, London School of Economics and Cambridge. Members of the Adam Smith Society can now also make use of OES’ connections with companies and speakers. The Adam Smith Society will now be the primary contact for OES regarding needs in the United States, and the two societies have agreed to cooperate on any unique needs.
Keskin, an international business and economics major, took over as president of the Adam Smith Society and its 20 members in Spring of 2015. “I am of the conviction that this partnership is vital to further our institution’s reputation,” he said.
The Oxford Economics Society has over 2,000 members, and has been known to meticulously select their partners. The organization denied 20 schools the same opportunity to collaborate this Spring. Keskin was able to secure the partnership by working events for OES and planning a career event for them in London. “When I was able to show them what a member of Adam Smith could do, I proposed the deal to the president of OES. After hard and long negotiations, I was able to get a deal for not only my organization, but also for our university,” Keskin said.
The Adam Smith Society is open to UT students studying economics and economic policy. To gain membership, students must be nominated by a member of the economics faculty and are selected based on “both an interest and general competence in the economic way of thinking,” according to Keskin.
Keskin said that the goal of the Adam Smith Society is to expose students to what real world economists do and introduce them to different economic points of view.
“The Adam Smith Society is the face of the future world leaders, policy makers, academicians, top businessman, and decision makers. We pride ourselves with the reputation we have built over the years,” Keshin said. “The Oxford Economics Society also has a high world wide reputation. Not only they have brought important people to speak in Oxford such as Tim Harford, their global network is highly valuable. Being able to benefit from their contacts, put our society’s name right next to such a prestigious global society, and put our school in the league with top schools in the world is an honor for every University of Tampa student. Our school, our students and our professors deserve to be recognized from an institution like University of Oxford.”
Keskin is currently negotiating another partnership for the Adam Smith Society at the University of Oxford, but can only say for now that “they are they biggest business organization in the U.K.”
The Adam Smith Society is already partnered with Omicron Delta Epsilon, an international economics honor society, giving UT students an opportunity to be lifetime members of ODE. Keskin secured a mentorship with the Turkish government in summer of 2015, which granted the Adam Smith Society access to any necessary data from the Turkish Presidency. Keskin will be researching Turkish monetary policy with Vivekanand Jayakumar, an associate professor of Economics at UT, in the near future.
The society hosts yearly trips to Washington D.C. to meet with economists, lobbyists, professors, top businessmen and other policy makers, and hosts a yearly networking breakfast with top companies in Tampa.